Chicago Firefighter Dies After Responding to Fire

Nov. 12--An 18-year veteran Chicago firefighter died overnight after going into cardiac arrest within hours of responding to a blaze on the South Side, officials said.

Walter Patmon Jr., 61, responded to reports of smoke in the 1500 block of West 99th Street about 10 p.m. Sunday, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Will Knight said. The firefighters discovered meat burning on a stove, officials said.

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After returning to his firehouse, Patmon experienced shortness of breath while cleaning equipment, Knight said. He was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.

Patmon's body was taken early Monday to the medical examiner's office, accompanied by a procession of fire and police vehicles.

Dozens of firefighters and police officers lined the streets outside the office and saluted as the procession passed under an American flag hanging from an extended fire truck ladder.

With many bowing their heads and removing their helmets, the firefighters then gathered for a communal prayer before the firefighter's body was taken inside.

Patmon is survived his his wife and three daughters, according to the fire department.

The death came three days after the funeral of Capt. Herbert "Herbie" Johnson, a 32-year fire department veteran who died while battling an extra-alarm blaze. Johnson was remembered Thursday during an emotional service attended by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and hundreds of firefighters at a Southwest Side church.

asege@tribune.com

Twitter: @AdamSege

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